new science funding model
My colleague Johan Bollen was featured in Nature because of his proposal for a new funding model for science:
What got you thinking about funding models?
A lot of people are unhappy with the current system. When you submit a proposal, you are like a contractor, but science does not work like that — it works best by generating ideas and gifting them to society and other scientists.
How did your idea take shape?
Some friends and colleagues had a Christmas party in 2012, and as soon as alcohol started to flow, so did commiseration. Guests talked about reviewer comments on proposals, marvelling that one person can have that much power. The disgruntlement is a by-product of how the review system works. I started by saying, “Why not just take all that money and distribute it evenly?”. The goal was to see if we could, with as little administration as possible, distribute funding so that researchers have the freedom to explore the topics that they think matter most.
Briefly, what is your plan for science funding?
All scientists would receive a base amount — for example, US$100,000, which roughly corresponds to the US National Science Foundation’s 2010 budget divided by the number of senior researchers funded that year. Each scientist would be required to distribute a predetermined percentage of their funding to the researchers whom they believed would make best use of the money.
Read the whole thing.